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The City of Whitewood has received a $400,000 South Dakota Dept. of Transportation grant for repairs for Laurel Street.

WHITEWOOD | The main thoroughfare taking motorists from Interstate 90 into Whitewood will get a sprucing up thanks to a $400,000 boost from a South Dakota Transportation Commission grant, announced late last month.

Cory Heckenlaible, Whitewood city finance officer, said the $400,000 grant will be a part of a total $768,141 project to repair approximately a half-mile of Laurel Street between the Whitewood Post Office and the intersection of Meade Street to the south.

Work will include resurfacing and repairs to sidewalks and curbs.

“It’s just basically a rehabilitation,” Heckenlaible said.

There is no timetable for the start of the project. Work would likely begin next year after the city allocates the remainder of the cost of the project, either from the city’s general fund or through a loan, he said.

The grant is part of a $4.7 million package of South Dakota Dept. of Transportation economic development grants for infrastructure improvements in smaller communities in South Dakota, awarded at the Transportation Commission meeting on Nov. 29.

According to a news release, the grants are to be used to improve roads leading to schools, main business areas, hospitals, grain elevators and other economic areas in the communities. The grants pay for 80 percent of the construction costs, up to a maximum of $600,000.

Laurel Street also serves as part of the main route, via Garfield Street, to Whitewood Elementary School.

Counties receiving Agri-business grant awards this year are: Lyman County — $600,000 for 306th Ave., which will provide access to the Dakota Mill & Grain facility, and Beadle County — $400,000 for 383rd Ave., which will provide access to the Lazy J Dairy.

Community Access grants include: $600,000 for Avon’s Main Street, which serves the elevator and a business area, and City of Bridgewater — $258,000 for 6th Street and Poplar Avenue in Bridgewater, which serves the school.

Clear Lake received a $340,000 grant for 2nd Street, 2nd Avenue S and 3rd Street, which serves the elevator.

Dell Rapids received $600,000 for 7th Street, which serves a business area, and Humboldt also receives a $600,000 grant for Main Street, which serves the school.

The city of Irene received $340,000 for State Street and Dickerson Avenue, which serves the school, and Oglala Sioux Tribe was awarded $600,000 for Crazy Horse School Drive in Wanblee.

Heckenlaible said the grant is a welcome help for Whitewood.

“That’s the biggest news we’ve gotten in awhile,” he said.

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